Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Minor Minifigs Mystery - One Piece Crimean Cavalry

John has sent me these pictures of some one piece casting cavalry figures he has acquired recently. A small mystery, as the S Range cavalry I have seen for this range (including the heavy dragoon) have riders cast separately from horses. I have had an example of the Scots Grey myself for some time, though my figure is missing his sword arm. I haven't found any reference to these one piece castings in any catalogue or listing - can anyone shed any light on this?


johnpreece said...

Rather bad form to answer my own question, but last night looking at Wargamers Newsletter from Oct 1968 (the earliest I have) till 1971 gave some interesting chronology.

The Crimea range seeems to have been released from summer 1968 onwards. (Following the release of the film.) last listed release being British Horse Artillery in Jan 69. The first FPW range being relased that month. All of these dates are a bit speculative as some figures were added straight to the catalogue and not advertised, some did not get released for months after they were promised.

However it was Jan 1970 that with the release of a new S range of Napoleonics that the riders were seperated from the horses. This was definitely a first for Minifigs and they advertised that once having bought your horses you could then swap riders for each period.

They promised that the existing S ranges would eventually have the cavalry remoulded in two parts.

So it seems definite that Crimean and FPW cavalry were originally released as one piece castings.

It may be that when the remoulding was done the designer altered the figures to be more historically accurate. In this instance adding a rolled cloak across the saddle and removing the horsehair crest.

This is a bit speculative, but probably moves us on a bit. Still plenty of room for comments from others who may well know better.


lewisgunner said...

Its a pirate!!! Quite a neat one though. The finish on a Minifig of that period is generally very smooth because , AS I understand it, Neville had his masters made in metal and then chromed so that they could be re-used again and again.
These look to have a slightly more irreguklar finish. Plus Minifigs had a really professional production system with horse moulds and separate riders that would sit any horse. Why would they do a one piece for some???

Alternatively you are the possessor of an unknown Minifigs producrion trial that was never marketed and has the equivalent value of a misoprinted Penny Black.

I hope its the latter but suspect that some enterprising individual made his own mould and in a restricted run it would be easier to make horse attached figures


lewisgunner said...

Actually 'quel horreur' the horse is the same as the Thirty Years War Reiter and ECW cavalry that WERE one piece. What you have may be a genuine 1969 figure!!


Steve-the-Wargamer said...

Seen the figures this guys is selling on eBay?? Not connected with the sale, thought you might be interested..